A voter initiative filed in 2012 sought to eliminate a police pension increase made by Ordinance 02-18 (2002).
Type of reform:
Ordinance 02-18 was a 3 percent at 50 plan, which allowed employees to retire at age 50 and receive an annual pension benefit equal to 3 percent times the number of years worked, times final salary. The salary paid to the employee after retirement was determined by the retirees’ years of employment and increased 3 percent for every year of service. The initiative alleged that the ordinance had been illegally enacted because it was premised upon faulty information and without appropriate disclosure and cost analysis.
In the spring of 2013, the city council filed an action for a declaratory judgment with respect to the citizens’ initiative in Monterey Superior Court before Judge Thomas Wills.
Status of litigation:
In 2014, Judge Willis validated the initiative and ruled it could be on the ballot. The city of Pacific Grove filed a cross-complaint. After a hearing on the cross-complaint on June 26, 2014, Judge Willis reversed his prior decision and found that the initial ordinance was enacted legally and struck down the citizens’ initiative.
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